Geraint Thomas’ Tour de France triumph has been immortalised in a poem by Welsh singing legend Max Boyce.
The double Olympic champion became just the third Briton to win cycling’s most prestigious race when he finished the three-week tour in Paris last week.
A homecoming celebration for Thomas takes place in Cardiff on Thursday and Boyce, who wrote rugby anthem Hymns and Arias, penned the poem to celebrate.
“It’s arguably one of the great moments in Welsh sport,” said Boyce.
The Boy Who Climbed A Mountain by Max Boyce
There’s a pillar box in Cardiff, where the mayor has arranged
To buy some tins of yellow paint, and have the colour changed
And down in Cardiff city hall, I’ve heard the council say
We’ll change the name of the Severn Bridge, to the Geraint Thomas Way
Now Whitchurch High are justly proud, and they love to tell the tale
How he carved his name in the wood of a desk, like Warburton and Bale
And where his yellow jersey hangs, beside the wooden beams
This boy who climbed a mountain, and dared to chase his dreams
But there were some who doubted, ‘he doesn’t stand a chance’
There’s never been a Welshman, who has won the Tour de France
But he’s more then just a domestique, I’ve known it all along
The boy deserves a knighthood and his bike deserves a gong
Now the Grogg shop up in Ponty, are working night and day
But people are complaining, there’s such a long delay
The kilns are full of Geraints, with a Welsh flag shouldered high
But people have to understand, his hair takes time to dry
So I’ll buy a Grogg of Geraint, though I know they don’t come cheap
And I’ll sell my one of Elvis, and one of Lynn The Leap
‘Coz when G rode through Paris, and he waved to all the crowd
He climbed more than a mountain, he made a nation proud
So I hope it’s fine next Thursday, to welcome Geraint home
They say the Pope is coming, he’s flying in from Rome
And Donald Trump is coming too, he said it should be fun
This guy deserves a medal, so I’ll come on Air Force One
So I hope it’s fine on Thursday, but I think it’s still in doubt
So Derek has suggested, we keep our brollies out
So I’ll stand outside the city hall, with its gilded marble dome
And sing like England soccer fans, that Geraint’s coming home
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Boyce said watching 32-year-old Thomas ride into Paris at the end of the three-week race wearing the famous yellow jersey “inspired him.”
“To see him riding into Paris and with all the Welsh supporters, Welsh flags flying and singing Hymns and Arias and Delilah, if that doesn’t inspire you nothing will,” the 74-year-old entertainer told BBC Radio Wales.
Thursday’s homecoming event will start at the Senedd and finish with a celebration outside Cardiff Castle from from 17:00 BST.
Thomas will be formally congratulated by First Minister Carwyn Jones and the Llywydd of the National Assembly for Wales Elin Jones.
The Team Sky rider will be accompanied by a peloton of young riders from various cycling clubs up St Mary Street before taking to a stage to speak to the crowd outside the castle walls.
Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk